Disabled customer attacks Newtown shop over accessibility

Reporter:

Keri Trigg

A shop in Newtown has been slated by a customer who says its new queuing system is not accessible to disabled shoppers.

Spar on Broad Street saw new queue barriers brought in which left a regular customer, who uses a mobility scooter, unable to get through after paying for his shopping.

Timothy Hamer, who visits the store almost daily, now says he will have to do his shopping elsewhere unless the new layout is changed.

He said: “There was a queue behind me and I couldn’t get out at all. I had to go backwards.

“They haven’t thought about the disabled. They haven’t thought about access where the tills are.

“That’s my main shop, I go there to do all my shopping and pay my bills, but this has made it difficult for me.”

Mr Hamer has accused the shop of not thinking about customers with wheelchairs, scooters, or prams, when planning the layout, and called for urgent action to improve the shop’s accessibility.

“I think it’s disgusting,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are disabled who go in there, as well as people with push chairs.

“They haven’t got the design right at all. My life has been made difficult by that Spar.

“How do they expect a disabled person to get out? It needs to be taken in hand and looked at again.”

Since Mr Hamer’s difficulties at the tills early last week, the shop has widened the barriers and claims it is now fully accessible – but Mr Hamer disagrees.

He added: “I noticed they had widened the barriers a bit. It’s all right, but if you go to the till on the left you still can’t get out past the people using the other tills.

“They have only thought about people who can walk.”

A Spar spokesperson said: “We are in the process of introducing new barrier structures to a number of our stores to help streamline queuing systems.

“The installation earlier in the week at the Newtown store may have temporarily caused some disruption issues while building work took place.

“Now the refit is complete we are confident the structure allows full access to all of our customers – however if there are any further concerns, we would look to make the necessary adjustments to the kit, which can be easily adapted, to ensure all needs are met.

“We remain committed to both driving forward store improvements and ensuring all our customers enjoy a positive shopping experience.”

See full story in the County Times

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